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“I don’t believe in retirement, I believe in changing careers,” former Harvard Law School professor Alan M. Dershowitz tells me over the phone on his way to Logan Airport, where he will board a plane to Paris. He officially retired from the Law School this December, but he intends his retired life to be far from relaxing. “My retirement from Harvard reflects the fact that I’ve been doing this for 50 consecutive years and at age 75, I wanted to try something different,” he says. “My plans are to be even more active than I’ve ever been before.”
But for many, the true challenges begin only with entrance through Widener Gate on the first day of freshman year. The past year has seen efforts by students and alumni alike to bridge a possible disconnect between administrative enthusiasm to attract first-generation students, and weaker support and outreach once they arrive on campus. For the students, part of this process has included the development of a “first-gen” identity as something to be embraced.
FM sat down with Huckabee to talk to him about same-sex marriage, higher education, and the 2016 race.
“We should probably tell her about competitive reading,” Coughlon says to Wilson. It turns out the pair’s massive collection isn’t just a hobby—it’s a full-fledged rivalry. Both friends use the website Goodreads to track what they’ve read. Wilson explains, “I’d started in high school, and was mean to Sarah freshman year about her reading habits, and it just so happened that Goodreads instituted a Challenge Yourself book-reading competition, and so we ended up not only challenging ourselves, but each other. We both read 100 or more books [that] year.”
On a recent Wednesday evening, four floors above Mt. Auburn Street in what is known as the “i-space,” a group of five Harvard students had claimed one small, stuffy office room to discuss the impending launch of their startup. Laptops open, bullet points scrawled on a whiteboard opposite a Rosie the Riveter poster, the group shifted easily between brainstorming and casual jokes.
Richard A. Slone has never missed a lecture by Shaye J.D. Cohen, Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy. Like certain unnamed students in Cohen’s Culture and Belief course, he doesn’t make it to 10 a.m. class. He knows that they are taped. However, unlike most of the students in the class, he listens to them on his bike as he trains for triathlons. Also, he’s “semi-retired,” which I guess most of us aren’t.
The Z-list inhabits an especially remote cranny in the cave of Harvard lore. The core of the Z-list intrigue is exclusivity. As admission rates have plummeted, mystery has increased.
Last Thursday, the future Harvard Class of 2018 received the emails of their lifetime. In honor of Decision Day, FM collected some acceptance stories from both current students and faculty and staff who once attended Harvard College.
Settled in an armchair and mutely dressed in a grey fleece half-zip and black jeans, Herbert “Herbie” J. Hancock, the 2014 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry, exuded pure calmness. The legendary jazz pianist, known for leading fearless, searching electric and acoustic projects (Head Hunters, Mwandishi, his Trio) as well as his tenure with Miles Davis’s seminal “Second Great Quintet” in the ’60s, was charmingly low-key but coolly energetic. Hancock, who turns 75 next month, showed absolutely no sign of his age, save for when he stood up and a slight paunch quietly emerged.
When Rachel D. Field ’12 and her small team encounter a problem, she can’t simply pass off the responsibility to someone else. “I have my degree now,” she says. “In theory, Harvard University says that I’m qualified to do this, so I’m just going to figure it out.” A project that started in a classroom is now unfolding internationally and in the public eye.
In his freshman year, Canyon S. Woodward brought a new trend onto Harvard’s campus: club spikeball. FM caught up with him.
Construction will shortly begin on the long-anticipated International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor—a machine that, if it works, promises to solve most of the world’s energy problems for the next 30 million years. Howard M. Georgi ’68, a Harvard physics professor, sat down for a brief chat about how and whether ITER will actually work as well as its possible economic and political implications.
Nico J. Schwalbe ’14 opens the door of a tiny room in the Lowell basement filled with tangled cords, and I take a seat on an amp by the drumset. This is the rehearsal space for L.A. Jeff, a student band Schwalbe helped found. We are soon joined by Sam J.J. Newmark ’14, who greets me and immediately starts unpacking his guitar.
The Visual and Environmental Studies chair’s office in the Carpenter Center looks as one might expect it to: stylish and modern, with soft light spilling in through expansive windows, minimalist white walls, glass tables, shiny metal details, and pops of color here and there. Robb Moss, the current chair, sits in the corner of one of the square black leather couches, and rests his cheek in his left hand.